The dictionary defines idolatry: extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.
The christian bible says it is: immoderate attachment or devotion to something or someone
Today as I sat outside the following perspective was shared with me.
Sometimes we idolize or glorify another person. It can even be an object, money, belief system, political association or anything that represents or presents itself as being more important than our relationship with Creator Source. Even good things can become idols when we make them the ultimate things in our lives. Idolatry is all around us and we are so often unaware.
It may begin by one feeling betrayed, a lack direction, fearing their life is out of their control and others are a threat to their lifestyle. They begin searching for someone or something greater than themselves to which they may become a part. So they listen and perhaps believe and follow the path upon which this person is directing them
Often people feel powerless in the world whether it is because they don’t understand what is happening around them, or they fear the present and future. They want to take back control of their lives and perhaps even become a ‘hero’ in saving the world. Joseph Campbell referred to this as the “Hero’s Journey”. The Hero’s Journey is about feeling the need to respond to the call to adventure, a journey in which we are instrumental in positive change for ourselves and in the world
When a person follows another and what they are saying and doing, this person becomes a type of guru, icon or hero. The followers are willing to give away their power of self determination and spiritual direction because within them something is missing or lacking and they want direction and fulfillment. The person they follow or idolize , or the object, or belief systems that person represents, fills that empty space within them at the moment.
We can look back to the past and wonder about the worship of people as the lesser gods or mythological beings. They helped fulfill a need for direction and hope in a world out of the control of the worshipper. As they made things better for the people or displayed a greater power or ability to maneuver or overcome the obstacles of the world, people began to worship them. They may not even have been a real being, but an Archetypal representation of an idea with which the people needed help in dealing or explaining.
Joseph Campbell said of Archetypes and mythology: “It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.”
For instance the archetype of the Trickster:
Almost all non-literate mythology has a trickster-hero of some kind. … And there’s a very special property in the trickster: he always breaks in, just as the unconscious does, to trip up the rational situation. He’s both a fool and someone who’s beyond the system. And the trickster represents all those possibilities of life that your mind hasn’t decided it wants to deal with. The mind structures a lifestyle, and the fool or trickster represents another whole range of possibilities. He doesn’t respect the values that you’ve set up for yourself, and smashes them.
However, the Trickster by spurring us into action can help us to begin a path of forward movement instead of being stuck in fear or self pity.
A wise man once told me. ” God cannot direct you from a stopped position. However, once in motion, if you are moving along the wrong path, God can give you a nudge in the right direction.”
.Today these lesser gods or archetypes come in many different forms such as , movie stars, musicians, athletes, the extremely wealthy industrialist, spiritual leaders and icons, political leaders or military leaders. They may even come in the form of your material possessions, loved ones or friends.
There are ones you trust and follow even despite any character flaws. Why? A person of religion may say that many past prophets and religious leaders were flawed and yet their God used them to lead and guide the people. They were called despite their flaws because they were willing to follow direction and share what they received. However, it is always desired by Source that once they begin working with Creator Source they will begin to make positive spiritual changes in their lives. Just because we begin flawed and Source uses us to be of service, does not mean that it is a desirable state in which to continue living ones life or that Creator Source will continue to work through them.
To be called is about giving up of self/ego desires in order to be of Service to Creator Source and all Life in love, and compassion in order to bring Light and Love into the world. Our service is to help others to be uplifted into a more spiritual state and direction. We are loved unconditionally by Source, despite our flaws, but Source uses us as we are willing to follow direction in Unity and Oneness, and if we choose not to do so, we are still loved, but Source moves forward to work through others until we are ready to make changes.
This brings us to discernment. It is up to us as individuals to ask for protection and guidance to be able to discern truth and to follow that which is of the highest good. Just because a person brings us a Truth at a time when we are ready to receive it does not make that person an icon, we make that person an icon by continuing to follow and listen to them past the time of their sharing of Source Truth, or a greater truth than we had previously known, along our path of Ego directed truth.
We also need to be able to grow spiritually. Just because something is truth for us at this time in our life, does not mean it is forever true. There is Divine Truth which is forever the same and never changing. For instance – Like attracts Like. That is a forever Truth and Universal Law of Creation. That we are born to marry, have a family, home and work at a job until we retire and finally die. Is a relative truth that we are taught to be a guide for our lives. It is an accepted individual choice to accept or reject in whole or in part.
Sometimes we get caught up in the truth of another because of that lack within us to be a part of something greater than ourselves. They may even show us a greater truth than we currently know, but we must learn to discern and not blindly follow another.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
By understanding our own hero’s journey, we can recognize and respond to the call to adventure of spirit and we can become participants of positive change for ourselves, for our community and the world. The desire to serve the Creator and humanity in creating a better world for all is the enlightening course to follow.
It is important to be discerning in our life of that which we choose to believe and follow as the guiding light and principal in our lives. Remember others are flawed, as are we and that the only true barometer of truth lies within us. If we learn to listen to the voice within we become able to discern the greater truth from the relative truth that is being shared with us. We learn to take back our power and be inwardly directed by Source instead of outwardly guided by Ego of ourself or another. No one can misdirect us unless we allow them to do so.
Does the truth or calling we see and hear from another inspire us to become more spiritually loving and compassionate on a forward and continuous basis. If not then take of the truth of the moment to which you are inspired and move forward along your path.
As we seek to grow closer to Creator Source we have a desire and willingness to be of service and to surrender our ego desires to a greater calling and unity.
Seek the higher journey of life. The hero’s path will open. Discern the Source of your truth and inspiration and keep only that which of uplifting and enlightening value. The truth and path lies within the heart.
May your light grow ever brighter.